Former Telus CEO Joe Natale to join Rogers next week

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Rogers persuades Telus to release Natale from non-compete contract three months early

people_joe_natale 160 x 183Canadian operator Rogers has finally persuaded Telus to allow its ex-CEO Joe Natale to join it as CEO.

Natale will start work at the rival company next Wednesday, 19 April, after the two firms reached what they called “a confidential agreement”.

He left Telus after 12 years in August 2015, when executive chairman Darren Entwistle, who had been the previous CEO, decided to resume his old position. It was claimed at the time that Natale’s reluctance to move from Toronto to Vancouver, on the west coast, was partly responsible for their failure to agree.

Rogers removed its CEO, ex-Vodafone executive Guy Laurence, more than a year later, and sources revealed that the Toronto-based company had been trying to persuade Telus to release Natale from a non-compete agreement.

It’s taken until today for the two to achieve that aim – though, according to sources, Telus was initially reluctant even to negotiate. In fact, the non-compete deal was due to expire in July this year anyway, according to Toronto’s Financial Post, so Rogers has gained only an extra three months of Natale’s time.

“I’m really excited to join the Rogers team,” Natale said in a statement issued by his new company. “The history of the company, the incredible mix of assets, and the growth potential are second to none. I look forward to working with Alan [Horn, chairman of the board] and the team to build on Ted [Rogers]’s legacy and the incredible progress the company has made.”

Natale will take office at Rogers’s annual shareholder meeting next week.

Edward Rogers, deputy chairman of the still family-dominated company, said: “Alan, the leadership team and Joe will work together to ensure a seamless transition. When Joe arrives he will build on the momentum that’s been established bringing an even greater focus on the customer.”